Nitzan Tirosh1, Uri Nevo2
1Biomedical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv , Israel; 2Biomedical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Isolated and viable spinal cords of newborn rats were used to investigate whether the changes in DWI signal during neuronal activation originate from biophysical mechanisms linked to neuronal activity or related to vascular effects. DW images were acquired with three diffusion times and along three diffusion directions during three physiological phases: Spontaneous activity, chemically induced enhanced activity and return to baseline activity. Reduction of 18-27% in the average ADC was observed during elevated neuronal activity. These results suggest that electrical activity affects water displacement in neurons and these changes are not an MR artifact due to a vascular effect.